If you’re thinking about hiking the Swiss wine trail on Lake Geneva, I would suggest to stop planning and start doing. Although I found some helpful blogs about the Lavaux Vineyards I think Wiki sums it up best:
The Lavaux is a region in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland, in the district of Lavaux-Oron. The Lavaux consist of 830 hectares of terraced vineyards that stretch for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva.
So, you have 30 km to choose from and they are all beautiful. Keep in mind that I enjoy getting lost on random wine paths. If you insist on knowing everything in advance and you’re a trip advisor type of person, then go ahead and plan each of your steps. But really, it’s not necessary.
We only had one afternoon/evening to visit the vineyards. We randomly chose to park at the train station in Chexbres (only 1 franc per hour, self service machines) and walk down towards Rivaz. The wine path is well marked and winds through the terraced vineyards.
We stopped at the winery of Alexandre Chappuis in Rivaz to taste some of the local wine. At first, we were not certain if any of the wineries were open for business. It was a Sunday in early October and the villages seemed silent. However, we ventured up to Alexandre’s property and he popped out to greet us. He welcomed us inside and poured us a variety of white and red wines, along with some tasty bacon bread. Yummy.
Alexandre spoke to us about each of the wines, the history of his family vineyard and the fact that even though they no longer use pesticides on the fruits, there are still chemicals in the soil due to the heavy use by his ancestors. He was well informed and very welcoming. Did you know that only 1% of Swiss wine is exported?! The wine tasting only cost 10 francs for both of us and we bought a bottle of wine for about 18 francs. Although we stayed overnight in Montreux, it’s possible to stay at the family’s guesthouse.
And to top it all off … I met this cat. He looks identical to our cat named Bali who lives in California. If you want to know more about the style of wine in this region, here’s a nice article from the Guardian.